SORRY EXCUSES: The PGA Tour tried to quash the negative press that resulted in Robert Allenby's biting criticism of Anthony Kim after the latter defeated the former, 5 and 3, in singles at the Presidents Cup. The Tour released statements from both players, with Allenby apologizing for calling Kim the 'current John Daly' – among many other things – and Kim accepting the apology.
If you buy Allenby's mea culpa or Kim's acceptance then there's a boy trapped in a balloon who needs your saving. Allenby's statement began, 'While I feel like the comments published were taken out of context ...' Really? Allenby was asked specifically [GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell was among those on hand during the interview] if his comments were on the record and he responded with, 'I don't care. Ask his playing partners, ask his team.' It's one thing to backpedal when you're under fire, but don't shoot a mockingbird and then blame the gun. It makes you look lame. Lame, Robert Allenby.
JUST BLOWING SMOKE?: John Daly told Golf Channel this past week that he plans to return to competition after previously saying he was shutting it down for the remainder of the year due to back problems. Daly is expected to play the PGA Tour's Viking Classic in Mississippi, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1.
Last we saw Daly, he missed the third-round cut at the Wyndham. Prior to that, he shot 78 in the first round of the PGA Championship and withdrew. Before that, he shot 88 in the second round of the Buick Open. People love Daly. They say he's 'everyman.' They love him because of his faults. We've all been divorced four times; blown through millions of dollars like leaves on a lawn; battled alcohol and gambling addiction; wasted second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth chances from others. We've all been there. That's why we love him. He's just like me and you.
DON'T PEN THESE GUYS IN JUST YET: U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and European captain Colin Montgomeire met up last Monday at Celtic Manor Resort for a 'Year to Go' exhibition match. The two men played a little golf on the Twenty Ten course, site of the 2010 matches, and answered questions ranging from Tiger Woods' flawless Presidents Cup performance to possible vice captains.
Here's a fun game to play: What if Ryder Cup qualifying ended today? Then Tom Watson, Ricky Barnes and David Duval would be on the U.S. squad. Meanwhile, the European team would consist of: Simon Dyson, Lee Westwood, Ross McGowan, Padraig Harrington, Alexander Noren, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Rory McIlroy, and Oliver Wilson. And Montgomerie would be clutching his chest like Fred Sanford.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS ... : Scotland's Martin Laird defeated Chad Campbell and George McNeill in a playoff to win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. The victory was Laird's first on the PGA Tour.
People like to go to Vegas to act in anonymity and then go back to their regular lives without anyone else being aware of how they behaved. That's exactly what seems to be happening at this event. The last six winners are: Laird, Marc Turnesa, McNeill, Troy Matteson, Wes Short, Jr., and Andre Stoltz. They go to Vegas, win big, and no one else ever remembers what transpired.
WORK HARD FOR THE MONEY: There are three tournaments remaining on the 2009 PGA Tour schedule, leaving only three opportunities for players to gain or retain their cards for next season. Three players from outside the top 125 moved inside due to their performances in Vegas: Lard, 134th to 62nd; Bill Lunde, 126th to 124th, and Chris Stroud, 129th to 126th.
At the moment, David Duval is inside the top 125, at 121st, while Stuart Appleby is 132nd. Duval hasn't finished inside the cut line since 2002. Appleby, on the other hand, hasn't finished worse than 55th since his rookie year in 1996, when he was 130th.
THE RACE IS ON?: Lee Westwood ended a two-year winless drought, shooting no worse than 67 over four rounds in winning the Portugal Masters. The victory moved the Englishman to first on the Order of Merit, with six official events remaining on the 2009 European calendar.
By being tops in money, Westwood also leads the Race to Dubai, which offers a bonus of $1.5 million to the overall champion. The RTD was supposed to outshine the FedEx Cup monetarily, draw in PGA Tour stars, and provide drama over the final months of the year. Instead, the prize fund has been reduced by 25 percent; no Americans are in the top 60, which is the cut-off number for the season finale; and the Race has received less publicity than Police Academy 6. In other words, things haven't worked out as planned.
GOODBYE, MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Golf Charities Inc., the organization that runs the Milwaukee PGA Tour stop, is dissolving after failing to find a sponsor. That all but assures that the Tour won't return to Milwaukee next year and presents a huge question mark regarding the future of professional golf in the area. The tournament most recently known as the U.S. Bank Championship had been played 42 consecutive years on the PGA Tour.
The event was where Tiger Woods made his 'Hello, world' pro debut in 1996. It boasts winners like Dave Stockton, Calvin Peete, Mark O'Meara, Corey Pavin and Greg Norman. But recently, the tournament has suffered to secure a top-flight field due to a spot on the schedule the same week as the Open Championship. It's a shame to lose this event, but it would be a worthy sacrifice if this got the Tour to abandon opposite-field events.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Royal & Ancient announced that the famous Road Hole 17th at St. Andrews would be lengthened for the 2010 Open Championship. ... Anthony Kim let go of his caddie, Greg Larson. ... Ian Poulter was on the sidelines of the Florida-Arkansas football game Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. ... John Cook won on the Champions Tour and Chad Collins won on the Nationwide Tour.
The hole goes from 465 yards on the card to 490. ... Larson caddied for Kim much of the last two years. If you're wondering where you've heard his name before, he's Mark Calcavecchia's former employee, who spent 11 years in jail for his part in a small cocaine ring. ... No. 1 Florida squeaked out an ugly 23-20 victory. Poulter has been asked never to attend another game. ... It was Cook's third career victory on the senior circuit and Collins' second on the developmental tour.